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April 2006 Briefing - Neurology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Neurology for April 2006. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Vitamin E, Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids May Lower ALS Risk

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- A relatively high intake of vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) is associated with a lower risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a study published online April 28 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.

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Fluorescent Drug Allows Better Glioma Resection and Survival

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with malignant gliomas have a more successful resection and higher progression-free survival rate if they are given 5-aminolevulinic acid, which makes their tumors fluoresce during surgery, according to a report in the May issue of The Lancet Oncology.

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Triple Therapy May Be Best for Stroke Prevention

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- A triple combination of antiplatelets, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and statins may be effective in reducing the severity of a stroke and the extent of tissue damage in patients who are taking the medications to help prevent ischemic stroke, according to a report in the April 25 issue of Neurology.

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Certain IL-6 Genotypes Linked to Intracranial Aneurysms

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Certain polymorphisms in the promoter gene for the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) are more common in patients with intracranial cerebral aneurysms than in other patients, according to a report published in the May issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.

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Spontaneous Cerebral Emboli Associated with Alzheimer's

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significant association between spontaneous cerebral emboli and both Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia, according to a study published April 28 in BMJ Online First.

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FDA Warns of Danger of Oxygen Regulator Fires

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received 12 reports of incidents in which oxygen regulators used with oxygen cylinders have exploded or burned, in some cases causing injury. The accidents appear to be caused by re-use of plastic crush gaskets designed for single use, resulting in an improper seal and oxygen leakage, according to the FDA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

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Most Physicians Would Halt Chemo at Patient's Request

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of physicians would halt chemotherapy if a terminal cancer patient insisted, but fewer would comply with a patient's request to speed death with drugs, according to a survey of physicians in six European countries and Australia published in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Risk Models Predict Carotid Endarterectomy Complications

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified two risk models that are best at predicting the broad range of complications that can occur following carotid endartarectomy, according to a report in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Novel Disorder Includes Microphthalmia, Brain Atrophy

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Norwegian and Dutch researchers have identified a new autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder called microphthalmia brain atrophy (MOBA) disease that is most likely caused by a mutation affecting eye development during gestation, according to a study published in the April issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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Blocking Enzyme Curbs Spinal Cord Secondary Injury

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The free radical-generating family of enzymes known as phospholipase A2 (PLA2) play a key role in cell destruction that occurs after spinal cord injury and blocking their action may represent a novel repair strategy, according to a study in rats published in the April issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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AtrialEsophageal Fistula Rare Complication After Ablation

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should be alert for atrial-esophageal fistulas, a rare but potentially fatal complication that can develop in patients who have undergone catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation, according to a study published in the April 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Seven Cases of CJD in U.K. Transplant Patients

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- There were seven cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in the United Kingdom associated with human dura mater transplants between 1970 and 2003, according to a report published online in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. What's more, an additional case was diagnosed in a patient with a porcine dura mater transplant, which would make it a worldwide first, although it may have been a case of sporadic CJD.

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Rare Form of Alzheimer's Found in U.K. Chemical Accident Area

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- A rare form of Alzheimer disease has been detected in a patient from a town in southwest England that was the site of an accidental discharge of 20 tons of aluminium sulfate into the local water supply almost 20 years ago, according to a report published online April 20 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. Although the authors stop short of attributing the case to the accident, high levels of aluminium were found in the patient's brain.

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Mouse Study Identifies Possible Alcoholism Genes

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Gene expression studies of nine mouse strains have identified a number of candidate genes that may be involved in excessive alcohol consumption, according to a study published April 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study advances the understanding of the biological underpinnings of human alcoholism, the authors report.

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Hypoglycemia May Enhance Cognitive Function

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Recurrent hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes may preserve and enhance cognitive function, according to the results of an animal study published in the April issue of Diabetes.

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In Panic Disorder, Brain pH Unchanged by Hyperventilation

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with panic disorder do not experience altered pH levels in the brain during hyperventilation, indicating that increased levels of lactate could act as a buffering mechanism, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Adult ADHD Frequently Goes Undetected

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 4.4 percent of adults in the United States have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the majority of cases go undetected and untreated, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Mercury Fillings Don't Affect Child's IQ or Behavior

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- There are no significant differences in neuropsychological and neurobehavioral function in children whose dental cavities are treated with mercury amalgam fillings or mercury-free resin composite materials, according to two studies published in the April 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Mediterranean Diet Linked to Lower Risk of Alzheimer's

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer disease, with a 40 percent reduction in risk for those most adherent, according to a study in the April issue of Annals of Neurology.

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Glucocorticoids May Enhance Memories

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Glucocorticoids released from the adrenal glands during emotional experiences help strengthen new memories in rats and may have important implications for human drug development, according to a report published online April 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Mortality Risk Greater if Cerebral Hemorrhage is in Sleep

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have an intracerebral hemorrhage while asleep are more than four times as likely to die within a month of the event than patients who experience the hemorrhage while they are awake, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Hypertension.

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Brain-Imaging Study Reveals Source of 'Oops' Response

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- The rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), an area of the brain thought to be involved in emotional response, is responsible for processing the "oops" reaction that occurs when people make costly errors, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Night-Shift Work Linked to Lower Parkinson Disease Risk

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Women who regularly work rotating night shifts or who sleep for fewer hours a night than other women have a lower risk of developing Parkinson disease, according to a study in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Patent Foramen Ovale Closure Improves Migraine

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with patent foramen ovale (PFO), transcatheter defect closure may be an effective and safe treatment for PFO-associated migraine headache with aura (MHA), according to a study in the April issue of the American Heart Journal.

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Multiple Cognitive Impairment Predicts Vascular Dementia

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Mild cognitive impairment with multiple impaired cognitive domains (mcd-MCI) may be an early stage of subcortical vascular dementia (VaD), according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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FDA Approves First Skin Patch for ADHD

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first methylphenidate-containing transdermal patch for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Known as Daytrana, the patch is designed for use in children ages 6 to 12 and is applied each morning to the alternating hip and worn for nine hours.

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More Rapid Memory Decline in Those With Stroke History

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Memory and abstract/visuospatial performance decline more rapidly in elderly patients with a history of stroke than in their same-age peers who have not had a stroke, according to a study in the April issue of Archives of Neurology.

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Epstein-Barr Antibody Titers Elevated in Multiple Sclerosis

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus are elevated 15 years to 20 years before the onset of symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients, with a four-fold increase in antibody titers associated with a doubling of the multiple sclerosis risk, according to a study published online April 10 in Archives of Neurology.

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Vision Problems Associated with Lower Cognitive Function

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Poor vision and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are linked to lower cognitive performance in older persons, according to the 16th report from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) Research Group published in the April issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Nurses Need More Training to Detect Delirium in Elderly

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Nurses are usually able to correctly diagnose the absence of delirium in elderly patients at bedside, but may have less success in accurately diagnosing the presence of the condition, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Moderate Alcohol Intake Linked to Cognition in Women

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who drink moderate amounts of alcohol, less than two drinks per day, have higher scores on a basic cognitive performance test than nondrinkers, according to a study reported online April 6 in Stroke.

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Antihypertensive Treatment Reduces Risk of Dementia

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment for high blood pressure may protect against dementia in older patients, according to a report published online April 6 in Stroke.

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'Autism Epidemic' Could Be Due to Diagnostic Substitution

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- The increase in autism diagnoses in special education data is associated with a corresponding decline in other diagnoses, suggesting that diagnostic substitution may play a role in the perception of an "autism epidemic," according to a study published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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Brain Imaging May Predict Response to Cognitive Therapy

THURSDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Imaging the brains of unmedicated depressed individuals during an emotional task may predict whether an individual will respond to cognitive behavior therapy, according to a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Collagen Gene Mutation May Cause Stroke Susceptibility

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- A mutation in the procollagen type IV alpha1 (Col4a1) gene in mice leaves the brain fragile and susceptible to hemorrhage, according to a report published in the April 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The authors found a similar mutation in a French family with small-vessel disease and a history of fatal intracerebral hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage, infantile hemiparesis and migraine with aura.

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Endocannabinoid Levels Lower in Multiple Sclerosis

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of the neuroprotective, marijuana-like endocannabinoids naturally found in an ischemic or injured brain are much lower in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a report published online March 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. However, their receptors are still available for therapeutic intervention.

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Hormone Predicts Pulmonary Hypertension in Lung Patients

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of the hormone brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) can predict pulmonary hypertension and mortality in patients with chronic lung disease, according to a study in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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